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Men’s preview: No. 13 Texas vs. Texas State

Longhorns have final non-conference tune-up before Sunday’s Big 12 opener and key clash at No. 2 Baylor

Brian Davis
Hookem
Texas forward Jericho Sims has started slowly this season. He's averaging 6.2 points and 6.4 rebounds a game so far for the Longhorns.

No. 13 Texas (4-1) vs. Texas State (3-1)

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Erwin Center (reduced capacity to 3,100)

TV/radio: Longhorn Network/104.9 The Horn

About the series: Texas leads 44-5. Even though San Marcos is just a half-hour drive south of Austin, these teams haven’t played since December 2014.

PROBABLE STARTERS

Texas

Matt Coleman III (G, 6-2, Sr., 16.4 ppg, 4.6 assists)

Courtney Ramey (G, 6-3, Jr., 15.4 ppg, 3.2 assists)

Andrew Jones (G, 6-4, Jr., 8.8 ppg, 3.0 rebounds)

Greg Brown (F, 6-9, Fr., 8.2 ppg, 6.8 rebounds)

Jericho Sims (F, 6-10, Sr., 6.2 ppg, 6.4 rebounds)

Coach: Shaka Smart (94-79, sixth season at Texas; 257-135, 12th season overall)

About the Longhorns: Anybody can get excited to play North Carolina or Villanova. Coach Shaka Smart has hammered home the importance of playing lesser-known opponents, too. “This is going to be as much of a statement about us as any game that we play,” he said. ... It’ll be a critical night for senior Jericho Sims (6.2 points/6.4 rebounds). Coaches and teammates have encouraged him to pick it up after some lackluster showings. ... Meanwhile, Kai Jones and Royce Hamm Jr. are flourishing. “There’s going to be a level of healthy pressure that he has to feel,” Smart said. “He’s a big boy, and he’s going to have to respond to that. But I believe in him, and I think he will.”

Texas State

Mason Harrell (G, 5-9, Jr., 14.5 ppg, 3.3 assists)

Shelby Adams (G, 6-3, Sr., 9.8 ppg, 3.8 rebounds)

Marlin Davis (G, 6-2, Sr., 7.3 ppg, 3.3 rebounds)

Isiah Small (F, Sr., 6-8, 6.3 ppg, 6.8 rebounds)

Alonzo Sule (F, 6-7, Jr., 9.3 ppg, 2.5 rebounds)

Coach: Terrence Johnson (3-1, first season at Texas State)

About the Bobcats: First-year coach Terrence Johnson is off to a 3-1 start by blowing through lower-level teams and then losing by 17 at Mississippi State. Far more troubling is that Incarnate Word’s Keaston Willis told the American-Statesman that he tested positive for COVID-19 after playing 37 minutes against Texas State last Saturday. The Bobcats would not play this game if they were testing positive. Smart said Texas’ medical professionals are monitoring transmission rates nationally among athletes in competition. “According to our medical people, (transmission) has not happened very much, but the season has just started,” Smart said. UT’s Andrew Jones has already been held out of one game for precautionary reasons. ... On the court, guard Mason Harrell is the Bobcats’ only player averaging double figures (14.5). However, three more players are averaging anywhere form 9.3-9.8 points per game.

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.